DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

The Doobie Brothers, Live at Wolf Trap, Blu-ray (2013)

A fun live concert of The Doobie Brothers performing at Wolf Trap National Park in Virginia.

Published on August 10, 2013

The Doobie Brothers, Live at Wolf Trap, Blu-ray (2013) 

Program & performers: (below)
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment  [6/14/13]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 1080i  color
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, PCM 2.0
Extras: 3 bonus live tracks, Backstage pass, Bonus tracks
Length: 166 minutes
Rating: ***

(Tom Johnston – vocals/guitar, Pat Simmons – vocals/guitar, John McFee – vocals/many instruments, Keith Knudsen – drums, Michael Hossack – drums)

Tom Johnston and his epic ‘stache lead this group of rockers in a live taping of a concert performed at Wolf Trap. Wolf Trap National Park is a center for performing arts located in Vienna, Virginia where the stage is covered but most of the seating is outdoors – a nice venue for a concert video.

The Doobie Brothers have been around for quite some time, since 1970 in fact, and even in their older age, these guys are still rockin’ it.  The sound represented in this show is that of the Johnston era, not the Michael McDonald times, and you can tell as the music is all about rock and blues.  “Rockin’ Down the Highway” and “Rainy Day Crossroad Blues” are great examples of this.  Their vocals are still pretty strong and their finesse with the guitar is simply beautiful.

Track 3, “Dangerous,” has some nice imaging with the two guitars and with extra detail in each pick and strum—this is where the high resolution DTS audio shows off.  “Five Corners” is a pretty tune that features just Tom and Patrick on guitar. [There are three bonus live tracks, “Back Stage Pass” is really four different extras, including some outtakes…Ed.]

Overall the audio quality felt lacking in the low end. With three (yes, three!) percussionists, I expected more thump to the kick drum but it just wasn’t there.  There was also a touch of harshness to the sound that should not exist in an uncompressed format. Perhaps this is due to how the live show was recorded.  A stronger low end could have at least softened some of the brightness that plagued this disc.

Sadly, the video quality isn’t going to blow you away.  There’s quite a bit of compression artifacts throughout the performance and at times, it is distracting.  With 23 tracks, there is a lot of music to explore on this disc.  Hardcore Doobie Brothers fans should definitely check this Blu-ray out, especially if you are a fan of the early years of The Doobie Brothers.


1. Rockin’ Down the Highway
2. Jesus Is Just Alright With Me
3. Dangerous
4. Another Park, Another Sunday
5. People Gotta Love Again
6. Spirit
7. Steamer Lane Breakdown
8. South City Midnight Lady
9. Snake Man
10. Nobody
11. Five Corners
12. Rainy Day Crossroad Blues
13. Clear as the Driven Snow
14. Neal’s Fandango
15. Takin’ It to the Streets
16. Don’t Start Me Talkin’
17. Take Me in Your Arms
18. Little Bitty Pretty One
19. Black Water
20. Long Train Runnin’
21. China Grove
22. Without You
23.Listen to the Music
Bonus live tracks: (1) Dangerous (2) Takin It To The Streets (3) Without You
Back Stage Pass / Doobie-aoke / The Dropped Pick / Outtakes / The Family

—Stephen Hornbrook


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